Question: Why did God, in his infinite wisdom, create a situation for humankind that would allow for so much pain and suffering?
Answer: Apart from evil, suffering is the least understood subject in the world. You may have to ponder this for a while, but think on this idea: Has not the suffering of someone you love not invited you (at least) to make a change for the better, if not actually led you to that change?
Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom
Question: There seems to be so much wrong and dark today...how can the Divine be behind such things?
Answer: Trying to understand the personal and global conditions that confuse you, without understanding the true nature of this life and our role and relationship -- or purpose -- within it, is like trying to comprehend the meaning of an elephant by examining a peanut. As difficult as it may be to understand, we are first creations ourselves, and then -- in a minor way -- empowered to be creators. As such, our lives belong to that living, just, and merciful Intelligence in and by whose life and presence we are sustained in the present moment. This isn't to say that, as beings empowered to create, we don't create misery for others and ourselves. Clearly we do; and the evil we see so prevalent these days is the expression of this unconscious darkness having its way through our so-called "will." And yet, even with all of this being true, this same Creative Intelligence expresses itself in all things, and in all ways, including those things that we see presently as being unfair, or otherwise unjust. There would be no awareness of beauty without the mirror of ugliness; there would be no compassion without those cruel conditions that awaken compassion into action. All is God, God is all; everything serves, nothing is wasted. And the only way we come to see this ineffable Goodness for what it is, is as we awaken and begin seeing how it serves a purpose greater than our present sense of time and circumstance is capable of now seeing.
Question: What are we to do with what life brings to us -- that we are sure just isn't "right" -- especially when we can look out and see so many horrible things taking place on our planet?
Answer: While not disregarding negative conditions...things are the way they are in the moment in which we see them unfold. No moment can be different than it is. Whether we like it or not means nothing, and our distaste for it changes nothing in what takes place before us. However, what does mean something is what we allow to happen within us in that moment, because as we are changed -- by what we see about ourselves -- so changes the moment itself.
Not only are events unfolding as they must, but they also serve a higher purpose. Life itself, each of its "waves," is a kind of "window" through which we see what "is" -- including the reality of how our awareness interacts and transforms all that is becoming moment to moment.
It's what we do inwardly -- with what takes place outwardly -- that alone has the power to transform both of these worlds in a way that's truly positive for all. And when we are aware of this truth, and its vital relationship with all that is taking place, we begin to see how our true human responsibility and the higher purpose of this life are really one movement. It's why our interior work is so crucial to the enlightenment of human consciousness. Our world is transformed according to our ability to take part in it this way, just as we ourselves are transformed with the world as it reveals to us the truth of ourselves.
The Essential Laws of Fearless Living
Question: Sometimes I feel so hopeful for the world, and other times I almost feel there is no hope for this Earth.
Answer: I know this seems like a paradox, but both feelings you have are correct. To put this in perspective -- the hope for our world rests in the hands of those men and women who, like yourself, are beginning to awaken to what has happened to this world because of a humanity fast asleep. On the other hand, for sleeping human beings, there is no hope outside of the dream state they dwell in that promises them tomorrow they will escape the nightmare of their own unconscious actions. Work. Never let discouragement have the last word.
Question: If most of our life and reality is based upon our thoughts and beliefs, how do you explain the poverty and suffering that go on in the world? Do millions of people just think wrong? What purpose does the suffering serve other than as an example of the result of our collective sleep?
Answer: No image reflected in a mirror can be any better or worse than the nature of whatever it is that stands before that mirror. The world that we see "outside" of us -- with all of its poverty, sickness, and violence, is the accurate reflection of (the present level) of our collective consciousness. This is an inescapable fact; in fact, the real problem (and the reason our planet remains "pained" as it does) is we don't want to see our complicity. It should be obvious -- as glimpsed from our individual lives -- that what we believe often causes others to suffer for those same beliefs; religious intolerance, maniacal self-righteousness, just the insistence that someone else accept our opinion as being valid "or else" face the consequences... all of these are instances in which what we believe can make bitter the lives of even those we say we love. Now multiply this insight by six billion people and it is not hard to see why millions cry as they do. The real inner work is not wondering why the world is the way it is, but in discovering what it is within us that makes it that way. . . and then doing whatever is necessary to transform our sleeping nature that sows the seeds of suffering that it does. This path is the only way the world can become caring and whole for all who live there.
Question: Humanity is at such a troubling level, and I am beginning to suspect where this planet is heading. With wars raging and me in the middle of it all, will my spiritual work lift me out of the clutches of this dismal place?
Answer: Freedom from this raging planet, with all of its wars, begins with discovering and walking away from the war within ourselves. In truth, there is no other battle, and what we see around us is the inevitable expression of the pain within us that pushes and pushes until it finds some release. At first when we see the general degenerated level of mankind, it gives us a feeling of hopelessness. But if we'll persist through this elementary "dark night of the soul," on the other side of it there is new light. The character of this new light is both the understanding that we are indeed alone, as well as the willingness and right spirit to get increasingly serious about leaving this world behind us.
Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom
Question: It's obvious that the world is descending into further darkness… so do we, as individuals, have the power to turn it around?
Answer: Darkness serves a purpose in this world, and the purpose that it serves is for it to be entered into and be penetrated by light.
We each have a secret character hidden away in us that is created for just the alchemical purpose of transforming any dark influence into a beneficial force. We have been given everything that we need to transform and transcend the shadows of fear, regrets, and resentments that prowl the corridors of our sleeping consciousness. And when these secret seeds of conflict have been revealed and released, we are as well, for then nothing negative remains within us to goad us into acting against ourselves. Multiply this possibility by billions of beings, and gone are the mindless wars and all the selfish acts of socially accepted gluttony.
This great power entrusted to us is that each of us is created to be the Light of the world. We can think of this as being the Light of higher conscience by whose compassionate intelligence we are empowered to discern what is helpful from what is harmful, to intuitively know the difference between a genuine act of kindness and a kindness done for selfish reasons. By this Light we are able to tell what is true and what is false.
So then, how do we illuminate our relationships at home, in our workplace, wherever we are? What must we do to enlighten this murky world of ours that staggers under the weight of its own shadows? We must cease being an unconscious part of its darkness.
If we bring light into any darkness anywhere, is not darkness everywhere made less? Mustn't even the littlest bit of light added to even the greatest darkness leave that same darkness not so impenetrable? The answer has to be a brilliant yes! Can we see the possibilities before us? Can we see the significance of the choices we make? Is it clear what we are empowered to do? Once we agree to actualize the Living Light, everything around us, everything within the sphere of our awareness, may be altered in its fundamental makeup.
This means that in moments of trial, our first task is to wake up, become fully aware of ourselves, and then dare to do the light thing. When we welcome the Light into our lives, we give notice to all negative states: Darkness, your days are numbered! We are done with you!
Let Go and Live in the Now
by Guy Finley
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